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Divine Intervention: 1 in 2 Say Prayer Saves the Dying. Do You?

Paging Dr. God? More than half of adults in the US put more faith in the divine than in a doctor's care — 57 percent said God's intervention could save a dying family member even if their doctor had declared treatment futile. Researchers say this data should spur doctors into being prepared "to deal with families who are waiting for a miracle."

Oddly, the strong show of faith over doctoring may be a result of leaps in medical care. The author of the study says that advances in trauma treatment has allowed more patients to survive past the scene of an accident, living longer and allowing more time for hope and prayer. He says, hospital trauma specialists "are much more heavily engaged in the death process," and that he frequently meets people who think God will save their dying loved one. It's a tricky balance, mediating a miracle. He says, "you have to respect that," while still showing the medical facts that may ultimate prove otherwise.

With prayer even being credited with softening gas prices, where do you stand?


Join The Conversation
hmcmcd hmcmcd 8 years
yes, there are actually lots of studies that show that prayer can work. i am also a non-believer but there does seem to be something going on here.There is a website called that has a lot of the reports compiled on it. (pro-prayer, of course)
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 8 years
Nice avatar acyl ;) Good point ~ just keep those miracles coming! where ever they're coming from!
acyl acyl 8 years
If you want to see a miracle, you'll see one. How do we know when something is medicine or god? It's your perception. If you think god did it than that's what you'll believe.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that there'is something to be said about having faith and supporting it through prayer - but i also think that modern medicine plays a stronger role. sometimes you just need the peace of mind that you're doing something to help the process when you're not able to do much more than stand by and watch other people do what they can.
Berlin Berlin 8 years
If it can't be explained by science, it doesn't mean that it is some mythical power's interventions. It just means we aren't at the point where we can explain it. Just like we used to think rain was caused by a rain god, births by a fertility god, etc...we use a supernatural power to explain what we don't understand. I believe there is no god (strong atheist) and feel that the 'power of prayer' is the same as a placebo effect. However if you wish to pray then by all means! I do not look down or judge those that do. To each his own:) After all we should be free to believe whatever we choose! But for me, science trumps all hehe.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Thanks Blue. And Cat, I am so sorry about your father.
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
I was baptized and raised Catholic, I definitely believe in God and I think that prayer can work wonders :) Of course I also believe that medical intervention is extremely important, but overall I think prayer can be a very powerful force and it has done a lot in my own life.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
You're right GS, it's a Garth Brooks song... I'm not religious in any way, but if you believe prayer works for you, who am I to judge?
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 8 years
Caterpillar, first I'm geniunely sorry you had to loose your father is such heartbreaking way, and honestly all you can do in those times is pray and I feel the act of praying really can give one peace. I was completely being sarcastic when I said bad people don't deserve to have their prayers answered because I believe everyone deserves compassion....well, except sociopaths. Honestly, I used to be very religious and even taught Sunday School, and I guess I went through some difficult things in life that changeed my perspective about God. I'm sorry if I have offended. It was insensitive of me talk so freely.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
There's a 90's ere country song, can't remember who it's by, maybe Garth Brooks, but it says, I thank God for unanswered prayers.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
This reminds me of something I heard the other day on Oprah (I've actually heard it before, that's just the most recent source). This man said that God always answers your prayers, but sometimes the answer is "no". So no matter how much you pray for somebody, if you're a person of faith you have to believe that God's will was done.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
My father had cancer, he was a devout catholic, my mom and his parents and my older sisters all prayed for him day in and day out, he died , not once did we say "how could God let him die" what we said was "we were so lucky he was here as long as he was, God blessed us with his presence and love" Through my fathers faith, he taught us that Love is what matters the most, and God is love. Jazz, even the "bad people" are deserving of forgiveness and prayers, and miracles and not one true christian will say they dont, One of the evilist men in history became a disciple of jesus.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
I see your perspective completely JazzZ. I think the important thing to remember for all of us is that for practically every person on earth between a lessor and greater degree understanding the devine is still quite a mystery which is defined by a thousand and one perspectives. As I mentioned it is my belief that God (not religion) works through us to the degree which we recognize it in our selves and not necessarily for us. It is up to us whether we want to express it or not. So I guess in your statement when you say "I would love to believe that God stops starvation, aids, cancer and brutal child abuse and death to children and loved ones, but I don’t see that miracle happening for them." IMO save preventing death, lol, the other points and many others are with in our will to stop and or prevent. There is no doubt in my mind and I don't think there should be in anyone Else's that a spirit realm of some form does exist after the decades of scientific proof of unseen entities, documented past life regression etc. One day the answers will be revealed but until then I think we'll have to settle for being spoon fed.
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 8 years
Sorry, I’m back, but what good is a blog if only those in agreement DARE to make a comment! And I am sorry to break up the God fest, but what about those really good people (because obviously bad people aren’t entitled to miracles) who pray for a loved one and not only do they pray but they have a big fast and prayer that includes 20 family members with the added glory of putting said loved one’s name in the temple so all the people coming to the temple can pray for them too only to have the outcome being, not some divine intervention or miracle, but to witness a very brutal, painful death? Are all those people, who had similar praying experiences, to believe “Oh, I’m sorry God was too busy for you!” or “he met his miracle quota this week”…with the conciliatory copout “It was meant to be.” Are they supposed to think they were not worthy of God’s miracle? I think it is much easier to believe that it is genuine faith that can make miracles happen. I would love to believe that God stops starvation, aids, cancer and brutal child abuse and death to children and loved ones, but I don’t see that miracle happening for them. I do agree that when death is at your door, it would be very comforting to hear that there may perhaps be a God out there. It is easier for me personally to believe (and I am entitled to my opinion) that if there is a God, he has no control over this world and can only watch in wings and help you into the next.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
hil, may I ask why you think prayer doesn't work?
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
I agree and my mother always taught me that God helps those who help themselves. Just sitting around IMO and praying is ignoring the point in faith that God works through you not for you.
hil34 hil34 8 years
I personally believe that you need to be positive and say, "I'm gonna get through this" instead of "I'm gonna die." I don't believe that prayer works though.
Kelliegrl Kelliegrl 8 years
"I believe that God guided science/medicine so that we can go to that venue and get help." Good point kiki!
kikidawn kikidawn 8 years
People can pray all they want, but I'd also advise remembering why God created doctors Oh you just reminded me of the other part of what I was going to say :) I believe that God guided science/medicine so that we can go to that venue and get help.
kikidawn kikidawn 8 years
I don't believe that prayer "works" in the sense that it is prayer that does anything. I believe that it is God who works. -good point I believe in God and that yes you reach Him through prayer. I don't think that prayer "failed" just b/c the desired outcome didn't happen. I usually try to just pray for God's will in situations. Sometimes (regardless of faith and prayer) we don't know best and only God does.... and sometimes the outcome is exactly the opposite of what we were praying for. lol I guess I kind of got off the whole does prayer work subject. All in all ... yes I believe that praying can help/work. hmmm wonder if what I was trying to say got across :? I'm not good at articulating.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
yes, Jude, God gives doctors their gift for a reason! ;-)
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
People can pray all they want, but I'd also advise remembering why God created doctors :)
saucymegstar saucymegstar 8 years
Okay, I don't have time to read all the comments. This is a big theological topic. I don't believe that prayer "works" in the sense that it is prayer that does anything. I believe that it is God who works. It is important to ask and important to believe that God can accomplish what we ask. I also believe that we should trust in God no matter what the outcome of our prayer. I know that in the face of terrible disease it is very difficult but the only One I can cling to in times of trouble is God. Prayer is important not only to ask God for or about something but to be in His presence and find comfort in a relationship with Him. I too have see God's power at work in the lives of my family and friends from health conditions to giving someone the words to communicate and build relationships with estranged family.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 8 years
Hypno you just made me tear up. Maybe the magic of prayer and faith is not that it heals your physical sickness, but that it heals your heart and mind, and lessens the emotional pain of leaving the world and the people you love.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
Hypno, thanks for sharing that story, it was really uplifting! :-)
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